Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Body is a Temple

Since Jamie and I started dating (about 18 months ago), I've always said, "I eat healthy now but some day I'll be really crazy about it".  In high school I stopped drinking pop (ya soda for all you in Southern California), in college I went back to that a little.  I never ate anything bad for me in high school, then in college... Well you get the picture.  

Recently, as goes my diabetes and training, I started to take better care of myself and really eat well again.  Not that I ever really stopped eating well, my guess is that most of my college roommates thought that I ate well, but now I really do eat "healthier" food on a regular basis, hence the quote I say to Jamie. One of my co-workers even said to me, "Bren have you ever had a big mac".  Once, I've had one.  

A short time ago, my friends Jon and Jose at school have gone "gluten free".  As wikipedia states:
  • "A gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, malts and triticale. Gluten is also used as afood additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent [...]."
In other words... No bread... No pasta... No deep fried food... No pizza... No... get ready... beer.... This is typically to treat celiac disease.  Many people though have found that it is suitable way to sustain a healthy lifestyle.   The first time Jon told me he was doing this, I didn't think much of it.  I thought "that's good but I eat healthy already".   

Then as time went on and I did more research into my diabetes, I kept coming across items on eating gluten free.  I began to think, you know it makes sense, what else screws up blood sugars more than pizza, pasta, foods like this.  So I started to read more.  Then I found out this is a way to treat autism.  One of the things I have always said is that I believe my diabetes is a product of food sources in our society, as are many problems.  

Then I started to run into more items on, "the paleo diet" and "the paleo diet for athletes".  I had also heard about this before but never given it much thought.  Basically, the extreme version of gluten free.  Eating all whole foods in fruits and vegetables, plenty of protein through fish and lean meats.  Although at this point in my life it's hard to afford buying a ton of meats and fish, it is possible to eat more vegetables and fruits, something I definitely believe it will help the diabetes. 

So why not try it?  Why not cut out gluten totally?  The more I read about it, the more I realize I hardly eat a lot of gluten foods, completely cutting out bread and grains could only strengthen my blood sugar readings, decrease recovery time from workouts and increase my life span (cutting out oatmeal is going to be really hard though).  All of this processed food we all eat can't be good, if it was God would have made the granola bar tree instead of the apple tree.

This weekend, Jamie and I watched the 2010 Kona Ironman World Championship that I had recorded.  The thing that stuck out to me the most was one age-group athletes quote.   Lew Hollander, an 81-year old man that has competed in the Ironman 21 times was quoted as saying, "if you want to be healthy at 80, you better pay attention to what you are doing at 40".  Well, if I want to live a long healthy life with diabetes I better pay attention to what I am doing at 24.  

So I am going to start to cut gluten out of my diet and try it.  Once work settles down at the end of the February I plan to completely go for it, bye bye gluten.  

The body is a temple, shouldn't we treat it like one?  You wouldn't put diesel food in a Ferrari.   


  1. I am about 75 pages into the "Paleo Diet for Athletes". It's actually a really good read for me, like after hard workouts your body breaks down a lot more bone tissue than I thought and the foods you eat up to two hours after the workout play a huge role in recovery. You need nonacidic foods to repair this, mainly fruits and veggies. I think those things are good for me to read, however I think the whole "Paleo Diet" goes a little over the top. I mean it goes as far to say "no dairy", like come on that's over board. I'm for sure not stopping eating my yogurt, I think that stuff really keeps me healthy. Plus to eat that way everything would have to be prepared so far in advance, I mean its a diet of like 50-65% protein, lean protein. Aka all the expensive meat.

    Looking at a gluten free lifestyle though, I think it does make a lot of sense. Like why do we eat all this processed stuff? It can't be that good for us. I don't think I will ever get super crazy with it, maybe I will, who knows. I do think though that I should cut out bread of all types. I find it "lingers" in my gut, even with good bread causing random blood sugar spikes later.

    I think I am basically saying in this blog that I want to make more of an effort to eat fish (which will help my training because of the anti-inflammatory omega-3's in fish), less processed foods of all types, eat more fruits and veggies (I mean that's a no brainer) and I really need to cut out things like splenda (it's not exactly something they sell at whole foods and its like a science experiment, it can't be good for you). Basically just make an effort to always eat better.

    I am going to go without oatmeal for awhile but I don't necessarily see if that's "bad" for you. Sometimes you do just need the easiest food possible. And frankly the easiest yet still healthy is oatmeal. I have a tub of it in my desk and if I don't have any other food, I still have that. But I will try for awhile.

  2. There are several gluten-free beers. I think most of them are made with sorghum.
    I'm not into dairy, but I put the paleo diet into the crackpot category when someone said something about the fruit we eat being cultivated for sweetness, and that is apparently bad.
    Yeah, that's over the top.
    I think paleo is basically a good direction to go in, but it goes too far.
    Of course, I just had a donut and coffee.
    (But no Splenda.)

  3. Ya it just seems like the paleo thing goes a little too far... A lot of good ideas though... No dairy at all? I mean I have yogurt basically everyday and I really believe it keeps me healthy. Maybe it doesn't but if a placebo works, it works...
    Hope your training is going well Jerry